Distribution of a Controlled Substance in Michigan


Distribution of controlled substances laws were designed to penalize any individuals involved with the sale, transportation, and illegal import of Schedule I to Schedule V drugs. This includes everything from illicit street drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana to illegally obtained prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, fentanyl, and Xanax. Moreover, because of the broad distribution definitions in the Federal Government, you can be charged with this severe crime even if you are in possession of a large quantity of drugs because the prosecution may argue that you intended to sell the drugs.

No matter the exact charge, the feds takes a very strong stance toward distribution charges, and if convicted, you may be facing years of imprisonment and thousands in fines. If you’ve been charged with this crime, you need an aggressive and experienced federal criminal lawyer to expertly defend your case. For a free consultation regarding your case, contact Grabel & Associates as soon as possible so that we can begin building a thorough defense.

Definition of Distribution of a Controlled Substance in Michigan

In general, if you are caught with large amounts of drugs as well as cash, you may be charged with drug distribution charges. According to Michigan Public Health Code 333.7401, “a person shall not manufacture, create, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, create, or deliver a controlled substance, a prescription form, or a counterfeit prescription form.” Moreover, the term “delivery” refers to transferring or attempting to transfer the substance to another person, knowing that it was an illicit substance and intending to transfer it to that person.

As such, for the state prosecution to successfully convict a person of distribution charges, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly possessed illegal drugs and intended to deliver the drug to another person, generally in exchange for cash. What’s more, the prosecution generally needs to conclude four elements, including:

  1. The presence of a buyer and seller
  2. The existence of the controlled substance to be sold
  3. An agreed upon price
  4. The consent of both parties and the actual transaction (handing over the money or other valuables for drugs)

Possession With Intent to Deliver

Intent to deliver is a fundamental aspect of distribution of controlled substance charges. For instance, if the police caught a person with five grams of cocaine divided into five separated baggies, the police can reasonably assume that you intended to sell the drug. However, in terms of a drug distribution defense, there are some fallacies in this thought process. What if the dealer pre-bagged his drugs and had to sell three bags to the buyer? From the police’s point of view, the possession of three bags still looks like distribution, and, therefore, you need an expert defense attorney to successfully present your side of the story and fight for a lesser charge of drug possession.

Illegal Prescription Drugs Distribution

Due to the increase in accidental death from prescription overdose, Michigan law enforcement coordinates a statewide effort to prevent further overdose and unlawful prescription drug distribution. The persons often targeted for distribution include the doctors and nurses with access to prescription drugs and, just as commonly, the smugglers, traffickers, and street dealers. Prescription drugs can also be unlawfully obtained through forged prescriptions, altered prescriptions, impersonating a medical professional, and by carelessly prescribing these drugs without professional and medically reasonable cause.

Penalties for Drug Trafficking and Distribution

The penalties for distribution of a controlled substance in Michigan are among the most severe in the nation. A guilty conviction for manufacturing, creating, delivering, or possessing with intent to manufacture, create, or deliver a controlled substance may result in felony, no matter the Schedule of drug.

According to the Michigan Public Health Code 333.7401, some of the penalties for distribution include:

Distribution OffenseImprisonmentFines
450 and 1000 grams of a schedule I or II controlled substanceUp to 30 yearsUp to $500,000
50 and 450 grams of a schedule I or II controlled substanceUp to 20 yearsUp to $250,000
50 grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substanceUp to 20 yearsUp to $25,000
Any Schedule IV controlled substanceUp to four yearsUp to $2,000
Any Schedule V controlled substanceUp to two yearsUp to $2,000

Penalties for distribution can also be increased depending on the events surrounding the alleged offense, such as selling near a school, selling to a minor, and selling that resulted in injury or death.

Contact Grabel & Associates For an Aggressive Drug Crimes Defense

Being arrested for distribution of controlled substances can be immensely frightening, especially with the prospect of years in prison as well as the lifelong consequences of a felony on your criminal record. As such, your decision for a drug distribution defense attorney may be one of the most important decisions of your life.

At Grabel & Associates, we ensure a state-leading legal defense defined by relentless investigation into the alleged offense and competent representation in court. We’ll personally meet with you and put your interests at the forefront of our defense strategy. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-342-7896 for a free consultation seven days a week, 24 hours a day.